Great Lakes News

Great Lakes News

Restoration for Freighter J.B. Ford has Sailed

15-Sep-2014

In 1903, the Edwin F. Holmes, better known as the J.B. Ford, set sail out of Lorain, Ohio. More than a century later, the oldest Great Lakes freighter still intact is now docked in Lake Superior. But the plan to restore the old vessel into a museum ship has fallen through.

According to a recent article published in the Duluth News Tribune, the Great Lakes Steamship Society, which was working to save the 111-year-old freighter, has abandoned its efforts after not being able to raise enough money.

In 2008, the Ford was going to be scrapped for a dollar, but the Great Lakes Steamship Society made it the society’s mission to preserve the vessel.

The 440-foot ship is known for its three-cycle reciprocating steam engine: The last of its kind. The ship’s greatest claim to fame is as a survivor of two terrible storms: The “Mataafa Storm” of 1905 and the “White Hurricane” of 1913, which claimed the lives of many ships and their crew.

J.B. Ford last sailed in 1985 as a cement barge. Since then, it has served as a stationary cement storage and transfer vessel until 2006.

For more information, visit greatlakessteamshipsociety.org.

McGard